It's almost time for Meet the Teacher nights to commence around the country, and it has always been one of my very favorite nights of the year! I get so excited to meet all of my new students and their families. This first impression is so important, and it can sometimes be a little bit overwhelming for everyone– teachers, students, and parents! I have written before about how important it is to instill confidence and build rapport with parents and students at this first meeting. You can read about how I do that HERE.
A Look Into My Meet the Teacher Night
I've never really addressed how I actually set up my Meet the Teacher Night, and it's always a little bit different from year to year. Last year, I tried my best to make Meet the Teacher night as simple and easy as possible. Here is how we set it up!
I met each family at the door so that I was able to interact with each family for a moment right when they walked into the room. When nobody was walking in, I would roam the room and chat with whoever was already there. When I met them at the door, I explained to my students that they would need to go to each of four stations and follow the directions there. They did not have to go in order, but they needed to stop at each one.
Here are my four stations:
First, they picked up the 7,000 papers that the school provides. 🙂
Then, they (really, their parents) head on over to the information table. There were three forms to fill out– a volunteer form, a student information form, and a “how are you getting home the first day” form. Most parents sat at the desk you see and filled these papers out while their students went on to the next step…
Next, they had to put together their supplies!
Our school has started implementing a system where all of the students pay a fee and we buy all of their supplies for them. Since they don't have desks, each student had a book box. There was a paper next to the station that had their name and student number next to it, and they grabbed their book box. We had pre-filled it with all of their folders and notebooks. The only thing they needed to do was label them all so that we could avoid doing this as a whole class the first few days of school. It worked out so well!
We set out a sample book bin (number 30 that you see here) so that they could see exactly what it should look like when they were done. There were label sheets for every student and Sharpies so that they could write their name. I made a little sample page on how to label their bins (which label went on which color folder).
A Good Experience for Both Me and My New Students
99% of my students did a fantastic job with this task. There were a few who needed a bit more support, and it was a good experience for me to see how the students followed directions. I'd do this again in a heartbeat to avoid the chaos of doing it as a whole class on the first day of school!
Finally, they did this little prompt (I think I got this idea from someone on IG last year! If it was you, please please let me know so that I can give you credit!). They each had to write one thing they were excited about. I left it up the first few days of school so that they could all read each other's responses.
This Meet the Teacher Night set up was one of my favorites that I've ever done! Kids and their parents had plenty to do while I greeted everyone. They were there long enough that I go to sit down and chat with all of the families. It was very minimal set up on my part, too! I'd highly recommend it.
Looking for more Back to School inspiration? Check out these Back to School posts!